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Show and Sell
By Ann Ruel

3. Pattern
The human brain also likes patterns. For instance, if you create functional pottery of work in sets, arrange each set as a grouping on the table. When arranged together, each set reads as one positive space. By leaving open negative spaces around each grouping, the display becomes attractive,
interesting, and vibrant. (Fig. C)

Fig. C

4. Color
Color, can make or break a dramatic assemblage. Therefore choosing the correct color for display materials will create an arrangement of pottery which “pops.” When you only have a limited space in which to display, it is best to also limit your background color. Pick preferably one neutral color
which compliments and highlights your pieces. It is the pottery you want the viewer to notice and remember, not the beautiful hand dyed scarf that your vase was sitting on. (See Figs. A, B and C)

5. Keep Pottery at the Center of Attention
It seems that there are always several points of contention that crop up between potters when setting up displays at almost every show that I have participated in. One hot topic is whether or not other items should be used on the table along side the pottery. For instance, should there be flowers in one or two of the vases so that the customer can better visualize what it would look like when in use? Is it okay to dress up the table by adding pretty shells alongside a pottery display where the theme is of the beach? Should there be candy or food in the functional pieces? To answer these questions, I think that that the potter needs to examine the type of show where he is displaying and the viewers which he anticipates. For instance, if the pottery is displayed for exhibit purposes only, then the pottery should be the only thing on the table. If the pottery is also for sale, then a potter must also wear the hat of a salesman. It is a fact that placing free candy in one of your dishes will entice customers to visit your table. Just be aware. You don’t want to put other items on the table that take away from the dramatic effect that you originally had with just the work itself.

B. Sales Tips

1. Take Notes
Watch the customers. Is there a particular item that customers gravitate to more than others? Keep an accurate list of what items are selling so that you can concentrate on making those for the future shows. For that matter, make a list of customers who are interested in your work. By placing a customer address book on your table, people can sign up to be placed on your email list. You can then use this list to notify them about upcoming shows.